Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #506
CE Offered: BACB
The Mindful Frontier: Expanding our Understanding of Mindfulness and the Present Moment
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
W179a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Audra P Jensen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Discussant: Scott A. Herbst (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: Scott A. Herbst, Ph.D.

Mindfulness involves a particular kind of attention that is purposive, open and flexible. Mindfulness is also often associated with being non-judgmental, empathetic, and broad minded. Mindfulness has numerous benefits to psychological and physical health, most of which seem to be attributable to the growing capacity to not restrict behavior based on expected or experienced discomforts. It may be that integrating mindfulness-based treatments into traditional behavior analytic interventions could enhance outcome. Indeed several treatment approaches that claim behavior analytic roots obviously include mindfulness components. This new trend calls for increased research around mindfulness from a behavior analytic perspective. Further study into mindfulness can help us identify what behaviors predict, indicate and promote mindfulness in a person. The papers in this symposium aim to contribute to this goal. The first paper will discuss the ability of observers to indicate the action of being present in themselves and others as well as their ability to connect and empathize with them. The second paper will explore the impact of a meditation practice on a range of quality of life issues. A discussion will follow focusing on the implications of these studies for improved assessment and integration of mindfulness-based treatments and possible future research.

Keyword(s): flexability, mindfullness, present moment

Creating Contact: Bridging the Gaps in our Interpersonal Awareness

AUDRA JENSEN (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Stephanie Caldas (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Ashlyne Mullen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Emily Kennison Sandoz (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)

Present moment, or being mentally within the here and now in a nonjudgmental or accepting manner, has been shown to foster development empathic responding. Being aware or mindful of one's behavior and immediate surroundings, being present, encourages detachment from automatic thoughts and behavior and disengaging from our 'auto-pilot' helps in the identification of needs and conflicts which can foster self-endorsed behavioral regulation especially in a clinical setting. Prediction and influence of present moment behavior isn't trainable as long as clear behavioral signs indicating that someone is present are not substantiated. Currently, we have yet to obtain behaviors to indicate whether a person is fully aware of their immediate surroundings, or being present. The purpose of this study is to explore present moment behavior, and identify behaviors that indicate when one is engaging in present moment behavior. The experiment inquiries into our own perceptiveness of others' presence as well as our own and the connections that form while both parties are present. The data collected from a pilot study indicated a consistency in responses from present moment observers. Wherever the line seems to create a 'plateau' is when there is an agreement from parties as to indicate a present moment.


Mindfulness Meditation and the Single Case

SOLOMON KURZ (University of Mississippi), Laura Slater Quittmeyer (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)

A legion of group-based studies has shown that mindfulness meditation can be beneficial for ameliorating a variety of symptoms (e.g., rumination, worry, stress related to major medical issues such as cancer) for a wide demographic of practitioners (e.g., adolescents, medical students, parents, Zen Buddhists). As exciting as some of these data are, they are limited in that group analyses provide "average" results for "average" participants across standardized time periods (e.g., eight-week protocols). One thing that is largely missing from this literature are fine-grained idiographic examinations of what daily practice of mindfulness meditation looks like in terms of frequency, duration, and the influence of the practice on practitioner-specific variables. In this paper, we will present a series of single case analyses of novice and experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners. In addition to meditation frequency and duration, we will present variables such as mood, sleep, and social interactions. Analyses will include graphs and single-case regression-based statistics.




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